Sardine Run South Africa

During the months from April to July, the cooler Benguela current moves up towards the east coast of South Africa resulting in the migration of millions of sardines. This provides an abundant food source attracting game fish, sea birds, whales, dolphins and sharks, to name a few. This incredible phenomenon also attracts photographers, divers & wildlife enthusiasts from around the globe; and ProDive Port Elizabeth, the most experienced operator in the region, offers a Sardine Run experience to these adventure seekers that is second to none.

Sardine Run Port Elizabeth

A Unique Sardine Run Experience

The Sardine Run action starts in Port Elizabeth in April, and has some of the best sardine run sightings. Thousands of dolphins can be seen chasing shoals of sardines into tight bait balls, which results in a feeding frenzy attracting penguins, sharks, whales, seals, game fish and seabirds.

Port Elizabeth is home to the Ragged Tooth Shark as well as the largest breeding colony of African Penguins & Cape Gannets in the world, and if conditions allow there will be opportunities to snorkel with Penguins which is a unique experience only possible in Port Elizabeth. There are also a variety of excellent dive sites around the bay characterised by colourful soft corals and a remarkable concentration of diverse marine species.

Besides the rich marine life, there are a fine collection of Big 5 Game Reserves including Addo Elephant National Park, located nearby offering Malaria-free game viewing. Numerous untouched beaches, hotels, restaurants and other attractions in the area embrace the complete South African experience.

What Sets ProDive Apart

After more than twenty years experiencing the Sardine Run and our local knowledge and experience with the animals, ProDive provides the highest probability of encountering the densest displays of the Sardine Run action.

State-Of-The-Art Boats

ProDive’s boats are modern and include state-of-the-art modifications specifically with the Sardine Run in mind. A specially designed camera tray that is positioned down the centre of the boat, additional fuel tanks that enable our boats to reach 160km and an aft seating arrangement, ensures more space with fewer people on pontoons and excellent agility, reach and speed.

Best Equipment

ProDive is Port Elizabeth’s number one dive center and shop. This ensures that we provide divers with the latest and greatest new or well-maintained equipment. Divers on the Sardine Run are provided with 12ℓ steel tanks and boats are equipped with ladders for easy boat access as well as having oxygen on board. Benefits that few other sardine run operators have.

Seasoned Skippers

Our skippers are all PADI Certified and seasoned Sardine Run specialists. They have worked with the animals for over 20 years and their intuition and local knowledge guarantees the best Sardine Run experience. They have two goals in mind, your safety and making your Sardine Run experience the most memorable expedition of your life.

Superior Comfort

We aim to make sure that you are absolutely comfortable 24 hours of the day. We think further than your comfort on the boat – we ensure that there is ample space when you are traveling in the bus to game reserves, lodgings and attractions, that you are accommodated at superior accommodation, and a major highlight, are provided with a dry wetsuit every morning.

Sardine Run Port Elizabeth Tour Information 2024

6 night / 5 sea days = R34 700
7 night / 6 sea days = R41 400
8 night / 7 sea days = R48 100
9 night / 8 sea days = R54 800

Daily rate for our Sardine Run day charter is R5500 per person.

Arrival:   Arrive in Port Elizabeth and transfer to your hotel.

Meet up in the late afternoon for a full expedition briefing and to meet the crew.

Ocean Days:   Spend time out at sea looking for Sardine Run action.

Daily Itinerary: 

After breakfast transfer to the launch site where you will kit up, load the boat (8m semi-rigid RIB) and prepare for a full day out at sea.  Refreshments and lunch are provided on the boat.We use a combination of aerial information, local spotters, fishermen & ocean users in the area to locate information regarding Sardine Run action. During the day, there will be opportunity to enjoy a dive on one of the numerous dive sites in the hope to see the Ragged Tooth sharks and other marine life.

Return at approx. 3pm and transfer back to the hotel enjoying the beachfront or taking part in optional activities e.g. additional diving, kayaking, cultural activities, shopping etc.

Departure:   Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight home or sign up for one of our extensions such as Cape Town to see the Great White Sharks, Shark Diving in Aliwal Shoal or visit the Kruger National Park.

There is a wide variety of accommodation available along the beachfront, from B&B’s, hotels to 5 star options. Our preferred choice is the wonderfully located Courtyard hotel. It is situated on the beachfront within walking distance to many shops and restaurants as well as most importantly to the dive center.

– Please contact us for a quote on alternative options –

Hotel Services

  • Spacious & comfortable twin / double ensuite rooms
  • Air-conditioning
  • Wifi
  • Intimate lounge area
  • Bar and Club Lounge
  • Fitness room
  • Secure parking
  • Sparkling pool in landscaped garden setting
  • Full English and Continental breakfasts daily
  • In room dinning by arrangement with local restaurants
  • Same-day laundry and dry cleaning service, weekdays only
  • Launderette 24 hours
  • Woolworths personal shopping service

Tour Includes:

  • Return Airport Transfers
  • Beachfront Accommodation
  • Breakfast Daily
  • Lunch packs on diving days
  • Transfer to the launch site
  • Ocean Safaris (weather permitting)
  • 8m Semi-Rigid Dive Boat (SAMSA Licensed – 40 miles offshore)
  • Hire of Tanks & Weights
  • Experienced Skipper
  • Shark & Reef Diving
  • On non-diving days group transfers will be provided for local excursions e.g. Addo Elephant National Park, Seal Diving in Plettenberg Bay, visit to Tsitsikamma National Park, Sundays River Sandboarding and River Cruises etc. All entrance fees and other costs related to the activities will be for the clients account.

Tour Excludes:

  • Flights
  • Dinner & Drinks
  • Equipment Hire
  • Travel Insurance

Aliwal Shoal Extension  

Please contact us for a quote on any of the below extensions or for a tailor made extension of your choice.

Spend a few days in Aliwal Shoal, one of South Africa’s premier dive spots where sightings of Ragged Tooth sharks are common and the possibility of other large pelagics such as, sea turtles, potato bass and numerous game fish can be seen.  Extremely popular with divers is the baited shark dive where you will be surrounded by anything from 20 – 80 bold Oceanic Black Tip sharks and might even have other species such as Tiger or Bull sharks come close.

Package Includes:

  • 3 Nights’ Accommodation at Scottburgh
  • Breakfast Daily
  • 3 Reef Dives
  • 1 Baited Shark Dive
  • Hire of Tanks & Weights
  • Diving Permit

Note:  transfers/car hire on request

Cape Town Extension     

Please contact us for a quote on any of the below extensions or for a tailor made extension of your choice.

A visit to South Africa would not be complete without a stop in Cape Town – the “Mother City”, known to many as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  An awesome 4 night extension that can be added on to any of the standard South African packages where you will get to experience Great White Shark Cage Diving, Penguins & the scenic beauty that Cape Town has to offer.
Tailor made packages are also available.

Package Includes:

  • 4 Nights’ Accommodation
  • Breakfast Daily
  • Full day Great White Shark Cage Diving – Gansbaai (incl. lunch & refreshments)
  • Full day scenic tour of Cape Town including Cape Point Nature Reserve
  • Free Day for sightseeing, visit to Robben Island, shopping etc.
  • Conservation Fee

Note: transfers/car hire on request

Kruger National Park Extension

Please contact us for a quote on any of the below extensions or for a tailor made extension of your choice.

The Kruger National Park is world famous for the Big 5, travelers from all over the globe come to pay a visit to one of our national parks to tick the box for this bucket list destination. Our country works very hard at preserving its wildlife, and we work with renowned safari lodges and suppliers to ensure your holiday will be one that will never be forgotten.
Tailor made packages are also available.

Package Includes:

  • 3 Nights’ Full Board Tented Accommodation at Rhino Post Safari Lodge
  • 6 Game Drives with optional bush walks
  • Qualified Ranger & Tracker

Note: transfers/car hire on request

Frequently asked questions

When is the Best Time?

Port Elizabeth: March & April
Port St. Johns: Mid June – end of July

Is it Guaranteed?

Like any wildlife encounter it is not guaranteed, however a day out on the ocean can bring about anything anytime and you are sure to be rewarded with awesome encounters with marine life.

Scuba or Snorkel

We do both – whether you are a snorkeller or a diver you can still partake in the action.  However, it all depends on the size of the baitball and how fast it moves as to whether we use scuba or snorkel.. Your skipper will be your guide and advise you what to use.

Minimum Diving Certification

Like any adventure the more experience you have the better, however we can cater for all levels of experience. It is however mandatory to have a diving qualification to use scuba, where for snorkelling no experience needed.  On your first day, if the conditions allow we will be doing a check dive to make sure that you are comfortable with your equipment, have proper buoyancy control and to familiarise yourself with the conditions.

Port Elizabeth versus Port St. Johns

Over the years we have had excellent action both in Port Elizabeth and Port St. Johns and do not believe that one area is necessarily better than the other.   Your choice will need to come down to preferred time of year and the overall experience that you are looking for.

Water Temperature & Wetsuit Requirements

The water temperature varies between 14 & 20 degrees Celsius and we recommend 5mm- 7mm wetsuits, including a diving hood & booties.  Dry suits are not ideal as they create drag on the surface of the water when snorkelling and are quite cumbersome when it comes to getting on and off the boat on a regular basis.

Diving Equipment

We provide 12L tanks Din/Int and weights and have all the other equipment available for rental.

Rebreathers are not recommended as they are cumbersome & not practical for staying with the fast moving action.

Full Gear:  R490 per day

Wetsuit: R150 per day

Fins, Mask & Snorkel, – R80 per item per day

BCD &  Regulator – R100 per item per day

Computer – R150 per day


Please contact us at

We can then finalise all the necessary details that we need in order to book you onto this amazing opportunity to see the Sardine Run.

In order to finalise, we will request the following from you:

  • Booking Forms to Be Completed
  • A 30% Deposit is required to confirm your booking
  • Balance payable 60 Days prior to departure

Cancellation Policy:

  • Deposit is non-refundable.
  • Less than 60 Days = 100% cancellation fee applicable

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